Harrier originated in England and has not changed significantly in centuries. This is a pack scenthound used primarily to hunt hares, although packs occasionally hunted other game.
The Harrier dog breed stands between 19 and 21 inches tall and weighs between 45 and 55 pounds. The eyes are medium-sized and range from brown to yellow. The ears are dropped. The topline is level, and the chest is deep with plenty of room for the heart and lungs. The tail is long and carried high but not arched over the back. The coat is short and dense. Color is not regarded as important.
The Harrier’s coat is not difficult to care for; a weekly brushing is fine. This is a very active dog breed, requiring a lot of daily exercise. A bored, lonely dog may very well become a loud, destructive Harrier. A hunting Harrier dog could easily cover between twenty and forty miles a day. Even though many Harriers today are companions rather than hunting dogs, they still need a vigorous daily run.
Training is important for all companion dogs. This dog breed is quite food-motivated, which can make training easier. Harriers are intelligent but are not naturally obedient. They bore easily if the training is too repetitive.The Harrier dog breed is not recommended for first-time dog owners or trainers not familiar with the challenges of training scenthounds. However, with a motivated trainer, a Harrier can succeed in obedience and agility training.
Harriers are outgoing, friendly, gregarious, affectionate, self-willed, independent, intelligent, determined, and inquisitive. As pack hounds, they are good with other dogs and do best in a home with at least one or two other dogs. They are wonderful with children and, when raised with small pets, can be okay with them, although they will chase running animals. Health concerns include hip dysplasia and eye and thyroid problems.